- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are your top five performers in the ACC for Week 7:
Duke quarterback Anthony Boone: Yes, Duke’s defense played an outstanding game, but it was a welcome-back party for Boone, who made his first start since suffering a fractured collarbone against Memphis on Sept. 7. With the 35-7 win over Navy, Boone improved to 4-0 as the Blue Devils’ starter, and in the process, he set career highs in pass completions, attempts and passing yards by hitting 31 of 38 (.816) passes for 295 yards. The completion percentage was the sixth highest by a Duke quarterback in a single game and the team’s highest since Sean Renfree completed 28-of-30 (.933) against Navy in 2010. Boone threw three touchdown passes for his second career multiple passing touchdown game.
Virginia Tech's defense: The Hokies absolutely smothered Pitt quarterback Tom Savage in a 19-9 Coastal Division win over the Panthers. The Hokies’ defense had a season-high eight sacks in the game, giving it 27 sacks for the season. The previous high this year was seven at East Carolina. It also had 10 tackles for loss. Dadi Nicolas, who moved from defensive line to linebacker with the purpose of getting to the quarterback, had a career-high seven tackles, including a career-high three sacks. Senior defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins had a career-high two sacks. Pitt was held to just 23 rushing yards, and the sacks added up to 49 yards lost.
Syracuse running backs: The Cuse running game was a big factor in the program’s first ACC win, a 24-10 victory at NC State. Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley each ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown as the Orange racked up 362 yards on the ground. It was the second straight game that Syracuse rushed for more than 300 yards. Smith finished with 140 yards and ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Gulley ran for 132 yards and the 18-yard go-ahead score with 6:13 left. It was the first time Cuse has had two 100-yard rushers in a game since last year’s New Era Pinstripe Bowl win against West Virginia.
Clemson DE Vic Beasley: He won the Leather Helmet Award, presented to the game’s Most Valuable Player following his dominant performance in the Tigers’ 24-14 win over Boston College. Beasley finished the day with one sack, two tackles for loss, one pass breakup and a fumble recovery and 13-yard return for a touchdown. On a day in which the offense wasn’t clicking, the Tigers’ defense was the difference, and Beasley was its anchor once again.
Maryland running back Brandon Ross: Of Maryland’s 468 yards of total offense, Ross accounted for a career-best 169. He finished with 88 yards on the ground and a personal-best 81 yards receiving. Following a 1-yard score in the first quarter, Ross picked up his second touchdown of the game on a toss sweep to the left from 7 yards out midway through the second quarter, marking the first time in his career he has scored two rushing touchdowns in a game. Ross is also the first Maryland running back to score two rushing touchdowns this season. At the end of the first quarter, Maryland took a 7-6 lead on a four-play, 74-yard drive in which Ross accounted for all the yardage.
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